(Jacksonville, FL) – The rape, kidnapping and murder trial of now 66-Year old Donald Smith continued Tuesday. And what the courtroom heard shook pretty much everyone present, some to the point of tears.
The graphic details of the rape and murder of Cherish Perrywinkle are unimaginable and what her accuser did following her death is just as awful. The medical examiner testified that Cherish had been raped to a point that her genitals were distorted. Semen, reportedly was found in her vagina, anus and mouth.
Jacksonville.com reports, bruising, excessive tearing of tissue and broken blood vessels from hemorrhaging — were shown in photographs and explained in length to the jury Tuesday. Valerie Rao, the chief medical examiner for the 4th Judicial Circuit explained her findings from Cherish’s autopsy.
“Bruising right here, right here, right here, a scratch here and a small bruise here,” she said pointing out just the left leg of Cherish.
Still left to show and describe to the jury were the bruises from excessive sucking on Cherish’s chest; the bruises on her buttocks; on her arms; her other leg; the ligature marks on her neck from the strangulation.
“There was tremendous force on her neck such that she could not breathe. She suffered swelling of the brain,” Rao said.
She explained how the vessels in the eyes are delicate and what happens to them when a person is being suffocated. On Monday, State Attorney Melissa Nelson said, “He gagged her, raped her, he sodomized her, then he strangled her. He gagged her with such force, her gums and nostrils bled. He strangled her with such force her eyeballs bled,” Nelson said. “Cherish did not die quickly, and she did not die easily. In fact, hers was a brutal and tortured death.”
As testimony continued, it was revealed that Smith’s jail conversations were recorded while the sex offender was awaiting trial.
Smith was asked about Cherish, “if she had some butt on her.”“She had a lot for a white girl,” Smith was recorded saying.
The audio as well as a recording of Smith saying that 12- to 13-year-old girls were his target and that he wouldn’t mind running into a particular girl at Walmart were the last pieces of the state’s evidence presented to the jurors before the state rested its case Tuesday afternoon. After a short recess, the defense rested its case too without calling any witnesses.
“I don’t want to testify,” Smith, 61, told Judge Mallory Cooper.